Mike Lyvers

I have been fascinated by the wonders of the natural world all my life. Volcanoes in particular have been a special interest of mine ever since I saw eruptions in Japan as a child back in the 1960s. There is nothing more spectacular in nature than a volcanic eruption; however, this particular passion can entail risks. Shortly after the catastrophic eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980, my father and I hired a light plane to fly over the devastated area; we were astonished to see hundreds of square miles of blown-down forest as well as the battered remains of vehicles whose owners had not been able to escape in time. In 1987 two friends and I foolishly tried to climb Arenal volcano in Costa Rica and were nearly killed by a tremendous explosion that sent car-sized volcanic bombs raining down onto the slopes above us. In 1991 my wife Leslie and I narrowly escaped a deadly pyroclastic flow at Japan’s Mt. Unzen, while the famous volcanologists Maurice and Katia Kraft (as well as 42 others) were not so lucky. I have been fortunate to see eruptions in Japan, Indonesia, Italy, the South Pacific, Africa, Hawaii, North America, Central America and South America. Other passionate interests include surfing, caving, trekking in the mountains, eclipse chasing and adventure travel. I am originally from Southern California but have not lived there since 1990; from 1990 to 1992 I lived in Japan, then lived in various parts of Europe from 1992 to 1995. Since 1995 I have been living on the beautiful Gold Coast of Queensland Australia.

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Mike Lyvers's activity

  1. January 2011
  2. Mike Lyvers rated Lechuguilla Cave

  3. June 2010
  4. Mike Lyvers commented on Arenal National Park in Costa Rica

    "I heard Quetzals were seen in Monteverde when I was there, but I didn't see them. Monteverde has many suspension bridges above the canopy, making bird-watching easier."

  5. Mike Lyvers reviewed Playa Grande in Costa Rica

    A long stretch of beach in a national park. Important as a sea turtle nesting site. Popular among surfers."

  6. Mike Lyvers rated Playa Grande

  7. Mike Lyvers reviewed Tabacon Hot Springs in Costa Rica

    Tabacon Hot Springs is situated at the foot of Arenal, Costa Rica's most active volcano. Arenal's lava flows heat the Rio Tabacon, which flows through a series of hot pools and steaming waterfalls in a lush garden setting. Though a bit expensive to visit…"

  8. Mike Lyvers rated Tabacon Hot Springs

  9. Mike Lyvers rated Irazu volcano

  10. Mike Lyvers reviewed Irazu volcano in Costa Rica

    Irazu is Costa Rica's tallest volcano. You can drive to the summit which is 3432 meters above sea level. On a clear day you can see both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts from the top, where there are several craters. In 1723 Irazu erupted violently and d…"

  11. Mike Lyvers reviewed Arenal National Park in Costa Rica

    "The Arenal region features Costa Rica's most active volcano as well as ample opportunities for spotting wildlife."

  12. Mike Lyvers rated Arenal National Park

  13. Mike Lyvers commented on Niagara Falls in Buffalo, United States

    "Niagara Falls is almost a cliche but it more than lives up to all the hype."

  14. February 2010
  15. Mike Lyvers rated Feed wild dolphins at Tin Can Bay

  16. Mike Lyvers reviewed Feed wild dolphins at Tin Can Bay in Queensland, Australia

    Tin Can Bay is a quiet and friendly little town. Wild dolphins have been visiting for decades ever since an injured dolphin was nursed back to health by local residents. You can hand a fish to a wild dolphin any morning between 8 and 10 a.m. The dolphins…"

  17. Mike Lyvers commented on Swim with Whale Sharks off Donsol in Philippines

    "A very good thing to do, as the fees help keep the whale sharks of Donsol protected. And pretty much unique in the world as well!"

  18. Mike Lyvers commented on Mount Mayon in Legaspi Port, Philippines

    "Mayon is regarded by some as the world's most beautiful volcano. Mayon's eruption in December 2009 prompted the evacuation of over 40,000 people."

  19. Mike Lyvers commented on Mt Pinatubo in Santol, Philippines

    "The caldera was created in the gigantic 1991 eruption and is currently partially filled with a warm rainwater lake. Perfect for a swim after hiking there!"

  20. October 2009
  21. Mike Lyvers rated Krakatau

  22. August 2009
  23. Mike Lyvers rated Otake

  24. Mike Lyvers rated Glacier Bay National Park

  25. Mike Lyvers rated Misty Fjords

  26. Mike Lyvers rated Prince William Sound

  27. Mike Lyvers reviewed Otake in Japan

    This highly active volcano has formed the remote island of Suwanosejima off southern Japan, one of the Tokara Islands. The island is accessible by boat and has limited accommodation. The volcano can be climbed, although the summit is officially off-limit…"

  28. Mike Lyvers reviewed Prince William Sound in United States

    Vast Prince William Sound is surrounded by spectacular mountains and features over 120 glaciers. It is perhaps even more awesome than Glacier Bay. A cruise is the best way to see the sights here. Otters and whales are among the wildlife highlights."

  29. Mike Lyvers reviewed Misty Fjords in Alaska, United States

    A beautiful wilderness area of soaring cliffs and waterfalls plunging into the sea, accessible only by boat or floatplane."

  30. Mike Lyvers reviewed Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska, United States

    Glacier Bay can be explored by cruise ship or kayak and features over two dozen tidewater glaciers as well as some of the tallest coastal mountains in the world, such as Mt. Fairweather (15,300 feet). Lots of wildlife can be seen in and around Glacier Ba…"

  31. Mike Lyvers commented on Cruise on Alaska's Inner Passage in Alaska, United States

    "Cruise West is the best!!! I cannot recommend them enough. The pics I took above are from a recent Cruise West cruise."

  32. Mike Lyvers rated Kerama Islands

  33. Mike Lyvers rated Brooks Falls Bear Viewing

  34. Mike Lyvers rated Katmai National Park

  35. Mike Lyvers reviewed Katmai National Park in United States

    With a wealth of volcanic features including one of the densest concentration of recently active volcanoes on the planet, Katmai National Park is a paradise for volcanophiles. The Park is accessible only by floatplane or boat, and the amazing volcanic sc…"

  36. Mike Lyvers reviewed Brooks Falls Bear Viewing in United States

    In July and September each year, the salmon run at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park attracts dozens of large brown bears which can be viewed fishing for salmon from a specially built platform. Nowhere else can you get within meters of huge wild bears…"

  37. Mike Lyvers reviewed Kerama Islands in Japan

    The Kerama Islands are a group of small, rugged, sparsely inhabited islands fringed by coral reefs and can be reached by boat from Okinawa. These islands are well-known destinations for divers and snorkellers, with an abundance of colorful tropical …"

  38. April 2009
  39. Mike Lyvers reviewed Julian Alps in Slovenia

    The region encompassing Slovenia's Julian Alps and the Karst country is fascinating to explore both above and below ground. This area has some of the most most spectacular caves in the world, as well as world class kayaking and rafting on the Soka River.…"

  40. January 2009
  41. Mike Lyvers reviewed Mount Everest in Mount Everest, Nepal

    The region surrounding Mt. Everest contains 4 of the world’s 6 highest mountains and is arguably the most spectacular mountain region on Earth. Thousands of trekkers make pilgrimages to famous viewpoints such as Kala Pattar and Gokyo Ri each dry season …"

  42. October 2008
  43. Mike Lyvers rated Anse de Grande Saline Beach

  44. August 2008
  45. Mike Lyvers rated Port Campbell region

  46. Mike Lyvers reviewed Port Campbell region in Victoria, Australia

    The coast east and west of Port Campbell on the south coast of Victoria attracts tourists from all over the world. Rock stacks, fjord-like inlets, sea caves, arches and other formations are abundant features of this rugged coastline. Highlights include t…"

  47. July 2008
  48. Mike Lyvers reviewed Old San Juan in San Juan, Puerto Rico

    One of the oldest European cities in the Western Hemisphere, Old San Juan features narrow streets, quaint buildings, and the 16th century forts of El Morro and San Cristobal built by the Spanish to defend San Juan Harbor. The former has shell fragments f…"

  49. Mike Lyvers reviewed Sulphur Springs in Saint Lucia

    The steaming crater known as Sulphur Springs features vigorously boiling pools and small geysers of hot mud. The site was once mined for sulphur for the muskets of both the American and French revolutions. Nearby are the Botanical Gardens, with colorful …"

  50. Mike Lyvers reviewed St. Lucia in Saint Lucia

    St. Lucia vies with Moorea for the title of most beautiful tropical island in the world. The highlight is the southwest coast around the town of Soufriere, where the twin volcanic pinnacles known as the Pitons soar 2600 feet straight out of the bay. The …"

  51. Mike Lyvers reviewed Underwater Martinique in Martinique

    Martinique has wonderful snorkelling and diving with a great variety of sites and some beautiful beaches."

  52. Mike Lyvers reviewed Ruins of St. Pierre in Martinique

    St. Pierre, once known as the Paris of the Caribbean, was completely annihilated in May 1902 along with its 30,000 inhabitants by the catastrophic eruption of Mont Pelee. Today visitors can explore some of the ruins from that disaster within the partiall…"

  53. Mike Lyvers reviewed Mont Pelee in Martinique

    On Ascension Day in May 1902, Mont Pelee erupted, incinerating the port city of St. Pierre - then known as the Paris of the Caribbean - and its 30,000 inhabitants in less than two minutes. This catastrophe shocked the world and was a seminal event in the…"

  54. Mike Lyvers reviewed Papillote Rainforest Retreat in Dominica

    Rated in Conde Nast as one of the top 10 ecotourist destinations on earth, Papillote has stunningly beautiful rainforest gardens enclosing natural hot spring bathing pools beneath twin waterfalls that cascade down through the jungle from the volcanic hei…"

  55. Mike Lyvers reviewed Boiling Lake in Dominica

    The most famous sight on the lush Caribbean island of Dominica is the Boiling Lake, a small crater containing - as the name suggests - a boiling lake. This is only accessible to fit and experienced hikers, requiring a full day of hard hiking up and over …"

  56. Mike Lyvers reviewed Dominica in Dominica

    Dominica is perhaps the lushest, greenest, and most unspoiled of the major Caribbean islands. Go here to commune with nature, whether hiking the rainforest trails or exploring the undersea wonders off Dominica's spectacular coastline. Some of the highlig…"

  57. Mike Lyvers reviewed Soufriere Hills Volcano in Montserrat

    The lush Caribbean island of Montserrat, once a hangout for wealthy rock stars, is now largely evacuated due to the eruptions of the Soufriere Hills volcano which destroyed the city of Plymouth and the entire southern half of the island. The volcano was …"

  58. Mike Lyvers reviewed St. John in British Virgin Islands

    St. John has fantastic snorkelling. The best spots require either a hike or a boat to reach. The effort is rewarded by some of the finest coral gardens you'll find anywhere."

  59. Mike Lyvers reviewed Vieques Bioluminescent Bay in San Juan, Puerto Rico

    Go only on a moonless night because the organisms don't glow if there is even a little moonlight. This is one of the highlights of the Caribbean. A kayak tour is best. Be sure to bring a diving mask and snorkel to view this astounding phenomenon underwa…"

  60. Mike Lyvers reviewed St. John in British Virgin Islands

    Most of St. John is part of the Virgin Islands National Park. The beaches and bays are renowned for their stunning beauty, and the diving and snorkelling are world-class."

  61. Mike Lyvers reviewed Devils Bay Beach in British Virgin Islands

    Devils Bay can be reached from The Baths via a 20-minute hike through a maze of towering granite boulders. The beach is just as pretty but generally less crowded than The Baths. Snorkelling from here around to The Baths is spectacular."

  62. February 2008
  63. Mike Lyvers reviewed Caverns of Sonora in Deep South, United States

    This cave is unbelievably beautiful. It is most famous for its often photographed "crystalline butterfly" helictite formation."

  64. Mike Lyvers reviewed Ape Cave Lava Tube in US West Coast, United States

    This incredibly long lava tube survived the cataclysmic 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens. There are more interesting lava caves in the region but this one is easily accessible to the public. If you are hungry after hours of exploring this somewhat monoto…"

  65. Mike Lyvers reviewed The Pierre St Martin in South West, France

    This is one of the most famous cave systems in the world. It is devoid of formations but the scale of the cave is almost beyond comprehension. Those not into hard core caving can reach the gigantic Salle de la Verna (second largest cave chamber in the w…"

  66. Mike Lyvers reviewed Jewel Cave in Plains Midwest, United States

    Jewel is an amazingly complex maze, famous for its abundance of dogtooth spar crystals."

  67. Mike Lyvers reviewed Postonja Show Cave in Slovenia

    The magnificent show cave of Postonja is Europe's answer to America's Carlsbad Caverns. The first part of the tour consists of a wild train ride in which you are hurtled at high speeds through several kilometers of cave passage. Formations rush past in a…"

  68. January 2008
  69. Mike Lyvers reviewed Malign Canyon in Alberta, Canada

    Beautiful slot canyon in marble near the town of Jasper in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. A trail follows the entire length of the canyon with views of waterfalls and cave springs in the depths below."

  70. Mike Lyvers reviewed Grossglockner in Salzburg Province, Austria

    Austria's highest mountain, the Grossglockner, is one of the most beautiful in the Alps. Its great shining pyramid of ice and rock towers majestically over a vast glacier, Austria's largest. The glacier can be accessed from the popular viewpoint known as…"

  71. Mike Lyvers reviewed Vercors Massif in Rhone-Alps, France

    The Vercors Massif is not high but is spectacularly scenic. Towering limestone walls protect the upper reaches of this pre-alpine plateau cut with deep canyons and gorges. In some respects it resembles a European version of Venezuela's "Lost World.&…"

  72. Mike Lyvers reviewed Zugspitze in Tyrol, Austria

    The Zugspitze is the highest mountain in Germany, located in southern Bavaria near the charming town of Garmisch. The border with Austria runs right across the summit, which can be easily accessed via a spectacular cable car ride. The summit offers expan…"

  73. Mike Lyvers reviewed Predjama Cave Castle in Slovenia

    This 15th century castle is unique for its spooky setting within the cliff entrance of an extensive cave system in the karst region of Slovenia."

  74. December 2007
  75. Mike Lyvers reviewed Guethary in South West, France

    Classic French big wave reefbreak located a half km offshore. Holds any size and is best in winter."

  76. Mike Lyvers reviewed Topkapi Palace of the Ottoman Sultans in Istanbul, Turkey

    Istanbul's famous Topkapi Palace is arranged within a series of large courtyards. A line of rooms facing an inner courtyard is used to display some of the incredible wealth of the Ottoman Sultans, including jewel-encrusted swords, thrones inlaid with cou…"

  77. Mike Lyvers reviewed The Colca Valley & Canyon in Arequipa, Peru

    Twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, the Colca Canyon is one of the deepest canyons in the world. Attractions include condor viewing, trekking, some fabulous outdoor hot springs, ancient pre-Incan tombs, and the unique and fascinating local indigenous cult…"

  78. November 2007
  79. Mike Lyvers reviewed Grand Palace, Rattanakosin in Bangkok, Thailand

    Bangkok's Grand Palace, of "Anna and the King" fame, is a truly phantasmagorical place to explore with its complex of ultra-ornate and colorful buildings and temples. This was the official residence of the King of Siam from the 18th to the 20t…"

  80. Mike Lyvers reviewed Ao Phra Nang in Andaman Sea, Thailand

    The famous Ao Phra Nang is one of the most stunningly beautiful beaches on the planet. If you ever tire of swimming in the warm clear waters you can rockclimb the limestone walls nearby, or explore the Princess Cave which opens right onto the beach. Beca…"

  81. Mike Lyvers reviewed Katanoi Beach in Phuket, Thailand

    Phuket's beaches are legendary and Katanoi is one of the prettiest. Great food, white sand, friendly locals, and the crystal clear waters of the Andaman Sea make Katanoi a special place."

  82. Mike Lyvers reviewed Krabi in Andaman Sea, Thailand

    The Krabi peninsula is one of a very few places on earth where dramatic jungle-clad karst towers rise from beaches of dazzling white sand. The stunning beaches of Railey and Ao Phra Nang are accessible only by boat. The scenery in this area is breathtak…"

  83. Mike Lyvers reviewed Sainte Cecile Cathedral in Albi, France

    This Southern Gothic cathedral is said to be the world's largest brick structure and was constructed from the 11th to the 14th century. Its fortress-like appearance makes it a very unusual looking cathedral, attractively situated on the banks of the Tarn…"

  84. Mike Lyvers reviewed Machu Picchu in Sacred Valley, Peru

    I agree with Kevin, Machu Picchu is best appreciated at dawn. This is truly one of the most remarkable archaeological sites on earth. I'd say give it a couple of days to see as much as you can. Climb the pinnacle of Huayna Picchu as well as hike to the …"

  85. October 2007
  86. Mike Lyvers reviewed Walk from Podkoren to Bohinj in Villach, Slovenia

    The region encompassing Slovenia's Julian Alps and the Karst country is fascinating to explore both above and below ground. This area has some of the most most spectacular caves in the world, as well as world class kayaking and rafting on the Soka River…"

  87. Mike Lyvers reviewed Dachstein Giant Ice Cave in Styria, Austria

    Along with the Eisreisenwelt (also in Austria), the Dachstein-Rieseneishöhle (Dachstein Giant Ice Cave) is one of the best show caves for seeing large ice formations."

  88. Mike Lyvers reviewed Castle of La Latte in Brittany, France

    This 13th century seaside castle located in northern Brittany is a popular tourist attraction for its great setting, and has also long been used as a film location for many movies about knights and such."

  89. Mike Lyvers reviewed Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey

    The world-famous Hagia Sophia (Church of Wisdom) was built on the orders of Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD, and for over a millennium was the world’s largest church. It was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest in the 14th cen…"

  90. Mike Lyvers reviewed Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey

    One of the highlights of Istanbul, the huge and magnificent early 17th century Blue Mosque (also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque) is a stunning visual extravaganza inside and out. it is considered the last great mosque of the classical period. Istanbul …"

  91. Mike Lyvers reviewed Milan Cathedral in Milan, Italy

    One of the largest churches in the world, and the world's second largest Gothic cathedral, the Duomo di Milano is an absolutely stunning architectural achievement."

  92. Mike Lyvers reviewed Rottenbuch Church in Bavaria, Germany

    Second only to the Wies Church in terms of the Rococo extravagance of its interior, the Rottenbuch Church is similar in style and located only a short drive from the Wies Church. These twin Bavarian jewels, the Wies and Rottenbuch churches, are among the…"

  93. Mike Lyvers reviewed Wies Church in Freiburg, Germany

    Located in rural southern Bavaria in the foothills of the Alps, the unassuming exterior of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Wies Church gives no hint of the glories within. The Rococo interior is one of the most extravagantly decorated of any church in t…"

  94. Mike Lyvers reviewed Supai in the Havasupi Indian Reservation in Southwest Desert, United States

    Supai is a native American village situated deep in Havasu Canyon, a branch of the western Grand Canyon. Located on the Havasupai Indian Reservation, it is the most remote settlement in the 'lower 48' United States. Reaching Supai requires a 65-mile driv…"

  95. Mike Lyvers reviewed Annapurna Sanctuary Trek in Nepal

    This popular trek can be done in several ways, but a particularly scenic route is to follow the first part of the Jomson Trek up Poon Hill for the views of Dhaulagiri and the Kali Gandaki canyon, then follow a connecting trail to the Annapurna Sanctuary …"

  96. Mike Lyvers reviewed Alternative Everest: Gokyo Ri Trek in Nepal

    The trek to Gokyo Ri is a popular alternative or add-on to the Everest Base Camp/Kalapattar trek. After Namche Bazaar, instead of continuing up the Dudi Khosi valley you turn left up the Gokyo valley, eventually passing a series of lovely high altitude l…"

  97. Mike Lyvers reviewed Mont Blanc Circuit Trek in Piedmont-Northeast, Italy

    Wild ibex are commonly seen in summer. Some of the scenic highlights of the hike include the views from Lac Blanc on the Chamonix side and from Val Veni on the Italian side. In terms of scenery this would have to rate as one of the very best mountain hi…"

  98. Mike Lyvers reviewed Rhine Falls in Switzerland

    The Rhine Falls, "Europe's Niagara," constitute Europe's largest waterfall by volume. Located in northern Switzerland near the German border, the Rhine Falls are 150 m (450 ft) wide and 23 m (75 ft) high. Trails lead right to the edge of the thundering f…"

  99. Mike Lyvers reviewed Lake Tovel in Bolzano, Italy

    Situated in the Trentino region of the Italian Alps, Lake Tovel is a lovely and unspoiled alpine lake known for the unusual colors of its waters."

  100. Mike Lyvers reviewed Grottes de Choranche in Rhone-Alps, France

    Stunningly pretty show cave in the spectacular Vercors region of France."

  101. Mike Lyvers reviewed Sintra and the Pena Palace in Portugal

    This colorful UNESCO World Heritage site is Portugal's answer to those fanciful, eccentric creations of the mad King Ludwig of Bavaria, an extreme expression of 19th century Romanticism in architecture."

  102. Mike Lyvers reviewed Heavenly, South Lake Tahoe in Heavenly, South Lake Tahoe, United States

    There are so many great ski areas around Lake Tahoe you will be spoiled for choice no matter what your ability level."

  103. Mike Lyvers reviewed Chamonix in Chamonix, France

    You only need to be an intermediate skier to do the 20 km long Vallee Blanche run down the Mer du Glace glacier from the Aiguille du Midi. This requires a guide and is probably the most spectacularly scenic ski run in the world."

  104. Mike Lyvers reviewed Surfing Burleigh Heads in Queensland, Australia

    A deservedly famous break that gets way too crowded. Some of the locals have cultivated a nasty reputation so don't drop in on anyone."

  105. Mike Lyvers reviewed Surfing Honolua Bay in Hawaii, United States

    Honolua is one of the most perfect waves in the world when its on, which happens only on big winter swells. Competition for waves is fierce when Honolua is working well."

  106. Mike Lyvers reviewed Surf Malibu in Thousand Oaks, United States

    I grew up surfing Malibu. Famous from the "Gidget" era, Malibu is a nice righthand pointbreak with 3 points that can connect on big south swells. It is always extremely crowded."

  107. Mike Lyvers reviewed Surf Sunset Beach in Hawaii, United States

    One of the best big wave breaks on the planet."

  108. Mike Lyvers reviewed Surf Snapper Rocks (Superbank) in Queensland, Australia

    Living within walking distance of the place, I used to surf it all the time - but not any more. Too damn crowded! But it is one of the finest and longest pointbreaks in the world when its cranking."

  109. Mike Lyvers reviewed Sutherland Falls in South Island, New Zealand

    Accessed via the awesome Milford Track, Sutherland Falls is normally in 3 stages but after heavy rainfall it can turn into a single great cascade, making it the second tallest waterfall in the world."

  110. Mike Lyvers reviewed Gavarnie in Midi-Pyrenees, France

    The waterfall is situated in the Cirque du Gavarnie, one of the most spectacular sights of the French Pyrenees."

  111. Mike Lyvers reviewed Aven Armand Caverns in Languedoc, France

    Justifiably famous as one of the most unique and impressive show caves in Europe."

  112. Mike Lyvers reviewed Grotte des Demoiselles in Montpellier, France

    A truly beautiful show cave."

  113. Mike Lyvers reviewed Skocjanske Caves in Slovenia

    Skocjanske boasts the world's largest underground canyon. This is another of the top five most spectacular show caves on the planet. For serious cavers a caving trip can be taken that follows the underground river on old rickety planks attached rather p…"

  114. Mike Lyvers reviewed Zhijin Cave in Central China, China

    Zhijin Cave is one of the top five most spectacular show caves in the world. It contains the world's largest cave formations, including stalagmites over 70 meters tall. Even the most experienced cavers will be blown away by this place."

  115. Mike Lyvers reviewed Carlsbad Caverns in United States

    Carlsbad is among the top five most spectacular show caves in the world. Experienced cavers will want to join one or more of the wild caving tours off the tourist route. The trip through Lower Cave is especially impressive, with its incredible "bon…"

  116. Mike Lyvers reviewed Gouffre du Padirac in Midi-Pyrenees, France

    It is amazing to descend Padirac's massive entrance shaft in an elevator, and then travel the underground river by boat. This is one of Europe's most remarkable show caves."

  117. September 2007
  118. Mike Lyvers reviewed Colorado Plateau in Southwest Desert, United States

    This region boasts perhaps the most spectacular, colorful and famous (courtesy of Hollywood) desert scenery on the planet. Highlights include Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Valley of the Gods, Mesa Verde, Arches, Canyonlands, and the…"

  119. Mike Lyvers reviewed Takakkaw Falls in British Columbia, Canada

    This is the tallest waterfall in Canada at over 800 feet high. The name is Cree Indian for “magnificent” and it is definitely that."

  120. Mike Lyvers reviewed Devils Tower in Mountain States, United States

    This iconic natural monument, the core of an ancient volcano, is familiar to sci-fi fans as the location for the climax of the Steven Spielberg film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It is a magical place, especially when the light of the setting sun …"

  121. August 2007
  122. Mike Lyvers reviewed Lake Garda in Lombardy - Lakes, Italy

    Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy. Like the other lakes of Italy's Lake District, Garda fills a valley created by Ice Age glaciers. At the northern end the Alps rise precipitously, whereas the south end has gentler scenery and the picturesque fort…"

  123. July 2007
  124. Mike Lyvers reviewed Pompeii in Naples, Italy

    Pompeii and the other towns buried in the 79 AD eruption of Vesuvius constitute the best preserved ancient Roman ruins in the world by far. Some of the best statues and frescoes from these ruins can be seen in the Archaeological Museum of Naples, a must…"

  125. Mike Lyvers reviewed Mulu Caves in Malaysia

    Mulu National Park is one of the most spectacular cave regions on earth. Deer Cave (accessible to the general public) has the world's largest cave passage, and Good Luck Cave (cavers only) has the world's largest underground chamber, called Sarawak Cham…"

  126. June 2007
  127. Mike Lyvers reviewed Walking in the Annapurna Region in Nepal

    Hike into the vast cirque known as the Annapurna Sanctuary beneath graceful Machapuchare (Fishtail) and the south face of Annapurna I, perhaps the mightiest wall of rock and ice ever climbed. Or hike around the entire range encountering a tremendous var…"

  128. Mike Lyvers reviewed Mont Blanc in Piedmont-Northeast, Italy

    From Chamonix the Aguille du Midi cable car ride is the most spectacular in the world. In summer enjoy the unparalleled scenery; in winter ski the incredible Vallee Blanche, a 26 km trip down a glacier beneath the cathedral-like spires of the Aiguilles.…"

  129. May 2007
  130. Mike Lyvers reviewed Mount Fuji in Fuji, Japan

    One of the world’s most beautiful and celebrated mountains, Mt. Fuji last erupted in 1707 and is the very symbol of Japan. Tens of thousands of hikers ascend this sacred mountain every summer, often forming long lines. At the summit one is rewarded with…"

  131. Mike Lyvers reviewed Old faithful & the Yellowstone Caldera in Mountain States, United States

    Yellowstone, the world’s first National Park, is the site of a “supervolcano” that only erupts every half million years or so – which is fortunate as its prehistoric eruptions devastated much of North America! Today the heat generated by Yellowstone’s v…"

  132. Mike Lyvers reviewed Santorini Volcano in Cyclades Islands, Greece

    Santorini is a gigantic sea-flooded caldera and one of the world’s great natural wonders. The site of the greatest volcanic eruption in human history (1650 BC), Santorini is regarded by many as the basis of the legend of Atlantis, some of the events in…"

  133. Mike Lyvers reviewed Vesuvius in Naples, Italy

    Vesuvius used to erupt regularly but has been quiet since its last eruption in 1944. This is the famous volcano that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 A.D. and thus is a must-see for volcanophiles as well as anyone interested in history. The ruins…"

  134. April 2007
  135. Mike Lyvers reviewed Mount St Helens in US West Coast, United States

    The famous 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens blew out the north side of this once-beautiful, previously dormant, Fuji-like volcano, almost instantly flattening 400 square km of virgin forest and killing 57 people - some of whom were as far as 30 km away f…"

  136. Mike Lyvers reviewed Etna in Catania, Italy

    Mt. Etna, the legendary lair of the Cyclops, erupts frequently and spectacularly, with explosive eruptions as well as Hawaiian-style lava flows – a fantastic combination! Etna is rather unpredictable, but rarely does a year pass without any eruptions. I…"

  137. Mike Lyvers reviewed Arenal in Costa Rica

    Arenal is another of the world’s most active volcanoes, though it has slowed down a bit lately. Arenal has been erupting daily since 1968, sometimes violently. The eruptions can be far more vigorous than Yasur or Stromboli, so DO NOT attempt to climb Ar…"

  138. Mike Lyvers reviewed Stromboli in Aeolian Islands, Italy

    Stromboli is the source of the term “Strombolian eruption,” which denotes an eruption style characterized by frequent minor explosions and fountains of glowing lava bombs. Stromboli has been erupting in this fashion more or less daily for perhaps 2000 y…"

  139. Mike Lyvers reviewed Yasur in Vanuatu

    For spectacular explosions and fountains of brilliantly glowing lava, Yasur (Vanuatu) and Stromboli (Italy) are the two most reliable volcanoes on the planet. Yasur has been continuously erupting since at least the time Captain Cook saw its great red gl…"